Adoption in China

Fengcheng Orphanage

February 2001
by Steven in Seattle

We received our eldest daughter Lily on Feb 6th 2001 (a most joyous day) in Nanchang, at the Lake View Hotel. 

Ding May Rong, Assistant Director (a beautiful and gracious lady) was the person who gave Lily to us and had brought her to the Hotel.  Our paper work said Lily was from Gao'an.  We had 4 babies in our group from Gao'an.  But it became very obvious that Lily had come from Fengcheng.  Ding May come up to our room to help these first time (largely incompetent) parents, this being my wife and I.

I can only wonder what she thought as we fumbled around trying to make formula for the first time for a very hungry little Lily.  As all this was going on 3 men arrived at our room one of the men was Mr. Wu and was introduced as the orphanage Director.  They where very jovial and all saying �very healthy baby�.  We took photos and thanked them for the blessing of our daughter. 

Lily had been at the orphanage for 6 months and with a foster family for 5 months. 

We were told they where in Nanchang to talk with our national guide with hopes that she had some contacts in CCAA.  At that time Fengcheng SWI was not on CCAA's list of orphanages for referrals.  Hence Lily's paperwork had been put thought Gao'an.  I still wonder what deal Mr. Wu cut with the Gao'an Director. 

We will always be in indebted to Mr. Wu for our daughter Lily.  Who is now an amazing 4 1/2 year old.  We where told that Lily was the first baby to come out of Fengcheng but we have since read on Peggy Gurrad website that some other babies had come from Fengcheng in 1999.  I came to think that Lily may have been the first baby Mr. Wu had referred out. 

I asked about the possibility of visiting Fengcheng City and before I knew it our local guide had talked to Mr. Wu and he invited us to visit.  The visit was conditional on us not video taping anything in the orphanage. 

Mary our local guide made an interesting comment about Mr. Wu saying that he had ONLY been a bus driver before becoming the Director and that Mrs. Ding, the Assistant Director, was very well educated.  I am still not sure what to make of that comment but it was interesting to hear. 

The next Sunday, Feb 11th 2001, we rented a taxi and went with our local guide's assistant to Fengcheng.  On our arrival Mr. Wu was waiting for us having come in on his day off and had prepared fruit, blacked pumpkin seeds, sweet rice cakes and hot tea in the meeting room for us.  We felt very honored and welcomed.  We asked many questions about Lily and the orphanage. 

I was able to audio tape our conversation with Mr. Wu but our guides English was limited so it was not as detailed as I had hoped.  Mr. Wu showed us the different parts of the orphanage, the laundry, the sleeping room, the feeding room etc.  He invited us to take photos but absolutely no video. 

Our impression was that all the babies were very well cared for and loved.  This is particularly impressive given the limited resources they have to work with.  The orphanage mother remembered Lily and said she was not one year yet.  We saw the little divided sleeping platform Lily slept in and took some photos.  We were very moved by the staff's care and love for these little babies. 

I wanted to give Mr. Wu some money for the orphanage so I gave him $300 dollars.  He was very concerned that he could not give me a receipt as it was Sunday and his book keeper was off.  He laid the money out on the table and called three other staff members to come in and see to the money.  Again he apologized for not being able to give us a receipt and thanked us for the money and so did the other staff members.  I asked him what he needed for the orphanage.  He told me he wanted to put air conditioning in the room were the babies sleep.  At that point you just have to trust that he will do what he said he will do.  We felt very comfortable that the money would be used for the girls. 

I can tell you that looking at photos posted on Peggy Gurrad�s website dated April 2002 there is now a fan unit mounted on the wall in the babies sleeping room.  The fan unit is part of a split type air conditioning system common though-out China.  Also comparing our Feb 2001 photos with those on the website, the divided wooden sleeping platform the babies slept on has been replaced with cribs and some repairs have been done to the walls.

In summary my comments on Mr. Wu are that he has a genuine care and concern for the babies and his orphanage.  I think he is a bit of a risk taker this is shown by his pushing to have his orphanage placed on CCAA's referral list, i.e. coming to Nanchang to talk with our guide and anyone else who could help him.  He had our daughter Lily's paperwork processed though Gao'an.  He welcomed us to visit his orphanage while the Gao'an orphanage director absolutely forbade any visitors.  Out of the 11 families we traveled with we were the only ones who were able to visit there child's orphanage. 

I still have a great regard for Mr. Wu and I am troubled by the recent comments about him, but the facts are for me that he continues to push ahead trying to make a tough situation better for the little one's who remain behind.  I certainly hope and pray that the money and donations of equipment are being used as intended for the babies at Fengcheng SWI.  We definitely believe, had it not been for Mr. Wu's actions, Lily would not have become our daughter and to think of that is just too hard to contemplate. 

We'd love to hear from any families that have children that are from Fengcheng and would welcome any information anyone might have about the city or orphanage. Please e-mail me at if you have any additional information or if your child is from here and you would like to post a picture here or other contact information.